From Season 1, Episode 1 until the end, it was a happy convergence of gifted creators, Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, a former CIA officer. The key actors (Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati, Brandon Dirden, Margo Martindale and Costa Ronin) all turned in consistent, virtuoso performances, as did those whose cycles ended before the series (Lev Gorn, Frank Langella, Richard Thomas, Annet Mahendru and Alison Wright). Both the many directors (including Rhys and Emmerich on occasion) and writers of unswerving creativity all fulfilled their a mutual goal of compelling, emotional storytelling combining excellence with (in general) historical accuracy. It's a mortal sin if the Emmys don't, at long last, give the show the sendoff it deserves.
All of that is for you to watch, rewatch and ponder, and three musical interludes swelled beneath the action on this exceptional valedictory, a great moment in high-end American television. And I've enjoyed putting together these weekly entries to illuminate the tunes.
1985: "Brothers In Arms" Dire Straits. The title track of their hit album of the same name (the album's final number). The Brothers In Arms album included three of the group's signature hits: "Money For Nothing" (with Sting), "So Far Away" and "Walk Of Life," The "Brothers In Arms" single, a tune originally written in 1982, was not hugely successful at the time, though the video won a Grammy. Today, the album stands as a landmark in the band's history, with its distinctive cover shot of a stainless steel National resonator guitar.
The official video, featuring leader-guitarist Mark Knopfler.
1987: “With or Without You” U2 Released in 1987, the year The Americans comes to a close, the legendary Irish band included this single on their latest album, The Joshua Tree. Written by the band, it became their first # 1 single in America. The conflict hinted at in the lyrics complements the goings-on during the episode itself, and could not have been a better selection. The droning sound came from a new guitar played by The Edge, known as the Infinite Guitar, an electronic creation that improved on the idea of sustained notes on electric guitar. The song today is considered a standard.
1869: “None but the Lonely Heart” part of Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s "Six Romances for Voice and Piano." The song also included lyrics adapted from German author Goethe's novel William Meister's Apprenticeship. Those lyrics were later translated into English and recorded by Frank Sinatra in the 1940's and again in 1959 on his No One Cares album.